When my daughter was a senior in high school, she was very sick and needed to do “home study” for part of the quarter. The principal and teachers were all on board and supportive, except one. He refused to cooperate in any area. He threw up roadblock after roadblock, though he knew the challenges of her situation. So, this momma bear fought for her daughter. Without me standing up for her, he would have failed her.
We have someone infinitely more fiercely loving than any momma bear. We know Him as Jehovah Nissi, The Lord Our Banner. What does His name mean you ask?
Nissi comes from the Hebrew word Nes (nês), meaning something lifted up as a standard or banner. (Blue Letter Bible) A standard is a flag or rallying point during battle, while a banner was usually set on top of a mountain to show people where to assemble and it flew over the warriors as they fought.
Friends, our Lord is not only the banner flying over us, He is also the One fighting for us. We are assured of this throughout Scripture. (2 Chronicles 20:15, 1 Samuel 17:47, Exodus 14:13-14, Romans 8:37) Tucked in Exodus 17:8-16, we find an excellent portrayal of Jehovah Nissi fighting for His people; it’s also the only place in Scripture specifically referencing the name Jehovah Nissi. Let’s peek in.
The Amalekites, Israel’s enemy, came to fight at Rephidim. Joshua gathered some men while Moses stood on top of the hill with the Lord’s staff (Exodus 4:1-5), along with his brother, Aaron, and friend, Hur. Moses held the staff over the men fighting below. “While Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, but whenever he put his hand down, Amalek prevailed.” (Exodus 17:11) So Aaron and Hur helped by supporting Moses’ arms so the staff wouldn’t lower, and Joshua and his men defeated the Amalekites.
Seems like Moses was the banner, right?
“And Moses built an altar and named it, “The Lord Is My Banner.” He said, “Indeed, my hand is lifted up toward the Lord’s throne.” (Exodus 17:15-16) Moses knew and documented the real source of the victory was God. Jehovah Nissi orchestrated this victory, while using Moses, Joshua, Aaron, Hur and the staff.
Throughout the Old Testament, God fights relentlessly for His people. In Exodus, God protected the Israelites as a pillar of fire by night and a pillar of cloud by day. (Exodus 13:20-22) When the Egyptians pursued the Israelites to take them back into slavery, the Lord parted the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross through and then, “During the morning watch, the Lord looked down at the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud, and threw the Egyptian forces into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve and made them drive with difficulty.” (Exodus 14:24-26)
Other examples you can explore on your own are found in Judges 7:13-22, 2 Chronicles 32:6-22, 2 Chronicles 20:1-30, 2 Kings 6:8-18, Daniel 3:8-27, and Daniel 6:1-23. Each example of God fighting for His people gives me chills.
But what about the New Testament?
Have I got news for you!
Isaiah 11:1-12 tells us of the “new” banner.
Verse 10 says, “On that day the root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will look to him for guidance, and his resting place will be glorious.”
Who is the root of Jesse?
Jesus, the root of Jesse,
was hung on a cross on the hill called Golgotha
as a banner over us.
He said of Himself,
“As for Me, if I am lifted up from the earth
I will draw all people to Myself.”
He was lifted up on that cross,
becoming the banner of righteousness and redemption
so that sin and death would be forever conquered.
All who trust in Jehovah Nissi would live!
With His life, He showed us what God was like as love lived out.
With His death, He won every victory for us, spreading the banner of reconciliation with our Most Holy God over all who trust in Him.
It’s simple yet profound.
John 3:16-17 explains, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.”
God loves us. He loves us so much He fights for us.
He is our protection and our rallying cry.
We assemble under His power and authority so we can win and then give Him every ounce of glory.
In my Faces of Grace story I share of a time when I traveled down some dark roads. The darkness appeared to hold the victory, but Jehovah Nissi fought for me, His daughter.
“He saved my life.
And it wasn’t because I deserved it,
but because He loved me.
He still loves me.”
Sisters, let us draw near to God.
Read His Word.
Carry it in our hearts.
Live it out.
And when we need a victory, rely on the One known as Jehovah Nissi.
We are known as His daughters.
When He wins, we win, then we glorify Him.
Let me leave you with something to help you remember Jehovah Nissi,
who will never stop fighting for you!
“Fighting For Me” by Riley Clemmons
Known, Day 15
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